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article imageGraphene can now clean up blood

By Tim Sandle     Feb 15, 2014 in Science
Blood clots on medical devices, the sort used in surgery, can be reduced by using a graphene-based material. The material is light and it can be coated with a blood absorbing chemical.
One of the risks with surgery is that blood clots can form on medical devices, such as artificial heart valves. One potential solution, a research group think, is to a coat the device with a solution that catalyzes the production of anti-clotting molecules in blood without the need to add reagents.
The material selected for this is graphene, a single layer mesh of carbon atoms. Graphene is considered the new 'wonder material', due its durability and lightness. Graphene can be described as a one-atom thick layer of graphite.
The coating would work by attaching hemin molecules and glucose oxidase enzymes to the mesh. These chemicals use the glucose present in the blood to produce nitroxyl, an anti-clotting molecule. In a research brief, the research team note that: "blood clotting on a plastic film coated with their material is substantially reduced and remains so even after three days.”
The properties of graphene on medical devices have been examined in the journal Nature Communications. The research is titled "Integration of molecular and enzymatic catalysts on graphene for biomimetic generation of antithrombotic species".
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